Admetus - Wikipedia
wholly admirable; Admetus loves Alcestis, his grief is genuine and his .. offspring of her husband's former marriage, a son has at least got his father to aid him. Intrigued by this topic, I reread the story of Alcestis and Admetus. plot begins with Alcestis already dead in her marriage—which might be taken beloved wife , Alcestis decided to consign herself to death in order to help her. ramifications beyond the Alcestis and, in fact, beyond Greek tragedy in . Viewed in Relation to the Admetus of Tradition, " TAPA 29 () ; J. L. Myres, "The . plays of Euripides, "sacrifices being made made for divine support before.
Admetus therefore welcomes Heracles with his usual lavish hospitality, thus breaking his promise to Alcestis to abstain from merrymaking. As Heracles gets more and more drunk, he irritates the servants who are bitter at not being allowed to mourn their beloved queen properly more and more until, finally, one of them snaps at the guest and tells him what has really happened. Heracles is mortified at his blunder and his bad behaviour as well as angry that Admetus could deceive a friend in such an embarrassing and cruel wayand he secretly decides to ambush and confront Death when the funerary sacrifices are made at Alcestis ' tomb, intending to battle Death and force him to give Alcestis up.
Later, when Heracles returns to the palace, he brings with him a veiled woman whom he gives to Admetus as a new wife. Admetus is understandably reluctant, declaring that he cannot violate his memory of Alcestis by accepting the young woman, but eventually he submits to his friend's wishes, only to find that it is in fact Alcestis herself, back from the dead.
She cannot speak for three days after which she will be purified and fully restored to life. The play ends with the Chorus thanking Heracles for finding a solution that none had foreseen. Euripides certainly expanded the myth of Admetus and Alcestisadding some comic and folk tale elements to suit his needs, but critics disagree about how to categorize the play. Some have argued that, because of its mingling of tragic and comic elements, it can in fact be considered a kind of satyr play rather than a tragedy although clearly it is not in the usual mould of a satyr play, which is usually a short, slapstick piece characterized by a Chorus of satyrs - half men, half beasts - acting as a farcical backdrop to the traditional mythological heroes of tragedy.
Arguably, Heracles himself is the satyr of the play. There are also other ways in which the play can be considered problemmatic.
Alcestis - Euripides - Ancient Greece - Classical Literature
Unusually for a Greek tragedy, it is not clear exactly who the main character and tragic protagonist of the play is, Alcestis or Admetus. Also, some of the decisions made by some the characters in the play seem somewhat suspect, at least to modern readers.
Likewise, although ancient Greece was very much a chauvinistic and male-dominated society, Admetus perhaps overreaches the bounds of the reasonable when he allows his wife to take his place in Hades. Her unselfish sacrifice of her own life in order to spare her husband's illuminates the Greek moral code of the time which differed considerably from that of the present day and the role of women in Greek society.
It is unclear whether Euripidesby showing how hospitality and the rules of the male world transcend the whims and even the dying wish of a woman, was merely reporting the social mores of his contemporary society, or whether was he calling them into question.
Apollo, Admetus, and the Problem of Pederastic Hierarchy
As in nearly every case, this story, too, starts long before its actual beginning. The bargain, though, had a stipulation—he had to find someone who would replace him. He thinks his parents, now old and almost at the end of their lives, would be willing to take his place. However, they do not want to die because they enjoy life more than before, knowing now what it truly is.
She accepts because, she says, she wishes not to leave her children fatherless or be bereft of her lover. The tragedy starts with Alcestis already dead. The chorus leader anxiously confirms that all of the customary preparations have been made for her proper burial.
Admetus holds Alcestis in his arms as she takes her last breath.
Alcestis and Admetus: Hoping to Rise Again - Carmenta Online Latin Blog
Nothing funny so far—everyone is in tears at this last extreme sacrifice. On her deathbed she makes two requests: Admetus accepts, of course.
His wife is sacrificing her whole life for him; he will have no problem keeping these two small promises for her. Maybe this is the satiric part of the play. Heracles gets drunk and begins to irritate the servants, who loved their queen and are bitter at not being allowed to mourn her properly. Finally, one of the servants snaps at the guest and tells him what has happened.
Fortunately for everyone, Heracles really was a good friend. Saddened by the news, he decides to face Death and take Alcestis back. Although she cannot speak for three days, she returns to life purified and fully restored.
What do we make of this story?How Admetus Avoided Death -- Mythology 101
First, Alcestis was lucky. Alcestis came back from death as a new person. Feminist readers Feminist readers are simply mad at this story. In the play her evanescence is her strongest quality. Her devotion to her husband is unquestioned despite Admetus breaking his word and failing to mourn her properly. When she is resuscitated, she seems happy to come back to her marriage.